Rei Hiroe says he has been battling it for 10 years
Since 2010, the Black Lagoon manga series has had a sporadic publishing schedule, with only two volumes released over the past decade. Earlier today, the creator of the manga Rei Hiroe responded to a question asking why the series has not been consistently serialized, to which Hiroe bluntly replied, "It's just that my depression hasn't gone away, so I can't work as much as I'd like."
いや、単に鬱病が寛解してないんで作業量稼げないだけですよ https://t.co/Bs2oGzx2ll— 広江礼威＠2021/8/19ﾌﾞﾗｸﾗ12巻発売 (@hiroerei) July 25, 2021
The quoted Tweet was deleted but archived on Otakomu.
An outpouring of support came from fellow fans of the series on Twitter, wishing Hiroe the best and hoping he continues to look after himself. Answering some more questions in replies, Hiroe mentioned that he's been battling depression for the last 10 years and that while working is difficult, he's doing his best and moving forward with the manga as much as he can without rushing.
Black Lagoon began in 2002 in Monthly Sunday Gene-X and quickly became a hit, inspiring an anime series in 2006 and a 5-part anime OVA series from 2010 to 2011. 11 manga volumes have currently been released in Japanese and English from Viz Media, which describes the series as such:
Lock n’ load with the baddest group of mercenaries ever to hit the high seas of Southeast Asia! Aboard their World War II torpedo boat, the Black Lagoon, Dutch the Boss, Benny the Mechanic, Revy Two Hand, and Rock, the salaryman from Japan, deliver anything, anywhere. In the dangerous underworld of the Russian Mafia, Chinese triads, Colombian drug cartels, crazed assassins and ruthless mercenaries, it’s hard to know who to trust. But if you’ve got a delivery to make, and you don’t mind a little property damage along the way, you can count on the crew of the Black Lagoon.
We wish you the best of health Hiroe-sensei, looking after yourself is more important than manga!
Source: Rei Hiroe on Twitter
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.